Monday, 19 November 2012

Skyfall


WRITTEN BY: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
DIRECTED BY: Sam Mendes
STARRING: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes
RATING: 3.5 stars

Even if you're not a James Bond fan, if you like action films, the chances are you will like Skyfall. I've never been a big Bond fan, though I have seen many of the films. After a while, they all start to blend into one and aren't all that memorable to those who are not die-hard Bond fans. But, what makes Skyfall so good for regular film goers, as well as the dedicated fans, is that it is not as gimmicky and lame in its sense of humour as the other films, although it does have a few thrown in there to keep the typical Bond theme going. Also, Bond is not as perfect as he has been in previous films. In fact, I can think of only one other Bond film in which our hero gets shot – and that's not a spoiler. So, in many ways we have a more believable hero. Having said that, Bond still does some super human, extraordinary things, of course.

Skyfall begins big and gets bigger. Bond's (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is put to the test when her past comes back to haunt her, threatening MI6. Silva (Javier Bardem) is smarter than most villains and has a personal vendetta against M. Bond, who is battling against his aging and injured body to save MI6, is forced down an unconventional path that sees him return to his childhood roots as he strives to protect M and MI6.

It took Oscar winning director Sam Mendes to make me enjoy a Bond film as more than just cheesy action fun. He delivers fantastic fight sequences and two exciting train scenes. He also paces the plot well and keeps the action going. The only problem is that after two hours I was ready for it to end and it went on for about another half an hour. It didn't really need to be that long. I also enjoyed learning more about Bond's childhood. Writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan have gone to great lengths to give Bond a back story that can be further developed with future films. In the same way that Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman franchise, it seems with this third instalment of the Craig-led Bond films we're getting a fuller story as well as some exciting thrills. It's no wonder Skyfall is already breaking box office records in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

The performances were also quite good. Bardem is creepy, weird and sexually ambiguous in his villainous role. He was almost like a flamboyant Hannibal Lecter meets the Joker. Dench is also stellar, finally getting an opportunity to make M a full-fledged and interesting character. It has been cruel to under-utilise her in previous films. Craig is also good and I think critics of the “blonde Bond” will finally be convinced of his abilities, though he's still not my favourite Bond. The supporting cast including Naomie Harris as fellow spy Eve, Ralph Fiennes as M's boss and Berenice Lim Marlohe as the sexy Severine are also good.

My main problem with the film was with the over the top product placement. “What was that?” M asks referring to a loud crashing noise. “VW Beetles,” replies Eve. Really? Was that necessary? We did see the cars crashing; we don't need to be told what type of car they are. What happened to just having these various products in the background and tricking audiences into feeling like they need a drink of Coca-Cola without realising it's because someone in a film looked like they were enjoying the refreshing drink?

Nonetheless, Skyfall is probably my favourite Bond film to date. I'd watch it again, which is more than I can say about the previous films. Anyone who isn't a fan can finally jump on the bandwagon too. You might miss a few inside jokes but you'll still enjoy it.


1 comment:

  1. Great review! Was definitely action packed :) Mel

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